I rang the number of Jennifer’s media agency, my phone script in hand, waiting for who I was expecting to be her manager to pick up the phone. You can imagine my reaction when none other than Jennifer Hawkins answered the phone and I really should have fallen to heap on the floor right there and then. I can’t really describe the moment when one of your life-long idols answers your phone call unexpectedly, but it was pretty wonderful.
Jennifer Hawkins is a well-known Australian model. She won Miss Universe for Australia in 2004 and is now the face of Myer, as well as hosting the hit television series Australia’s Next Top Model. I hope you enjoy the interview, and thank you Jennifer, her manager, Sean, and Laura for making this possible. Working hard for your dreams has it’s ups and downs, but it’s amazing when it all falls into place and a dream comes true.
Ellie: What inspired you to get into modelling?
Jennifer: It was never something I dreamt of doing, jobs were coming in, so I guess it was something I grew into. I never wanted to be a ‘model’ as such – I don’t like to categorize myself. I do love to mix it up and challenge myself. I really enjoy all aspects of my professional life- TV work, designing, ambassadorial partnerships & property development. Those things certainly keep life busy.
ES: You recently travelled to Africa to shoot the latest Myer campaign – what was it like?
JH: I have visited South Africa a few times, and each time has been so different and special. It’s a magical place! I actually took some time off after shooting wrapped up and did a safari. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
ES: What advice do you have for aspiring models and Miss Universe contestants?
JH: Always be yourself, know your boundaries and morals. Be professional, and appreciate the amazing people you get to work with, be it famous international photographer or an assistant.
ES: When you entered Miss Universe (Australia), did you ever think you would be as successful as you are now?
JH: When I won Miss Universe, it was in a head spin-craziness! I definitely had many pinch me moments, and never thought I’d be where I am. In saying that, I certainly put a plan into place to set my life up and have had some great mentors along the way. I am so grateful for the life that I lead.
ES: Pagaent co-ordinator Donald Trump described you as “the most beautiful Miss Universe Australia I have seen in many years” – how did that make you feel coming from someone like him?
JH: Ha ha – I am very flattered by the words. Trumpy is a top guy. Yes, very powerful, and a great mentor but someone I am lucky enough to call a good friend.